Lord of the flies
In the book lord of the flies by William Golding, Golding believes that man is inherently evil. He shows how man can changes into savages when dealt with the lack of civilization and order. He shows this through many characters throughout the book like Ralph, a natural born leader, Jack, a power hungry hunter, and Roger, the most savage of the bunch. These characters once had order with the help of Ralph and his conch, which had power over everybody on the island. This helped keep order until Jack slowly turned everyone into their natural instinctive, evil ways. Humans are inherently evil and when their surroundings are affected in a negative way, they begin to resemble savage-like behavior.
One of the themes that Golding displays in the book is how we all have the choice to act on or ignore evil tendencies. Toward the end of the story, the whole group, led by jack, hunted Ralph. Here he gets ready for a fight as the group comes close to his hiding spot. "showed his teeth at the wall of branches....snarled a little, and waited" (Golding 177). He decides that he is going to survive no matter what, even if he has to kill someone. He never had done this before, but with everybody betraying him, and Jack taking over the tribe, he has turned defensive. This is an example of how mans choice between good and evil is determined based on ones surroundings.
Another theme Golding suggests is if we did not have a civilization then man would revert to his savage instincts. Jack begins to act very rough and savage-like and starts to take hold of order on the island through his commanding behavior when he sees there is no order. He is the hunter which makes him a vital part in survival, so people are drawn to him. But he has taken it a step farther by taking rituals and chants into his daily routine: "'Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!'" (Golding 138). As order is lost, Jack goes his own way and follows his instincts as a savage-like hunter. He has changed so much from hunting and when Ralph has no power, he takes over. Everybody follow their instincts and join Jacks evil rants. The feeling to harm someone is still there, but is kept to a small degree when it is expressed in society. This is an example a man changes when civilization is not present through reverting to ones savage-like instincts.
Another theme that Golding talks about is how order keeps people at a normal state. When this is lost, chaos prevails. With no balance and no civilization, this was only to be expected. Roger is a great example of this. He started out a shy boy, then turned into a murderer after Ralph couldnt control anybody. As piggy tried to explain how things should be done on the island, Roger decides to end his life dramatically: [t]he rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist" (Golding). Roger does not think twice about doing this. It is an unbelievably irrational way of dealing with things, but they dont realize its a bad thing. They dont have anything to compare it to. The lack of society has reset their standards of what is good and what is right. They only follow their instincts now. This example of when order is lost chaos will come to life has been shown through a mans way of changing to a savage behavior through changes in ones surroundings.
Through Ralphs savage behavior for survival, Jacks irrational behavior for leadership, and Rogers uncontrollable instincts, Golding has proved why man is inherently evil. Everybodys true color came to be through this experience. They had a balance point when they were at home, but out here anything goes. The boys cruel behavior was punished by parents, but out here, it seems okay. Just like the incident of the girl getting beaten up by a group of girls. There was no order, no parent discipline that taught these girls that this wasnt okay. So they thought it was not a big deal and decided do beat on a poor girl for kicks and giggles. This really shows how man can do things we think is unheard of. How a man can deliberately kill a human being showing no passion toward the same race. We all have the power to kill, it just depends on who looses order first.